A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope
Candlewick, 2009 (2009)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
ichael Foreman introduces young readers to a small boy whose '
world was a place of ruin and rubble, ringed by a fence of barbed wire.
' In the rubble he finds a speck of green, '
peeping up toward the sunlight
' and reminding him of better times.
he boy nurtures the tiny plant, watering it and giving it shade. A grapevine grows along the high barbed-wire fence. It attracts birds and butterflies and other children, who make it a playground till soldiers come and destroy it. The boy is heartbroken through the cold winter that follows.
ut something very special happens when spring arrives, bringing with it a little girl on the other side of the fence. The boy feels hope. Even if the soldiers return, he muses, '
Roots are deep and seeds spread ...
' Foreman's inspiring message is underlined by stark drawings of the boy's environment that are gradually infiltrated with light and color as the vine spreads.
hough adults might want to introduce young children carefully (to avoid nightmares) to the existence of refugee camps filled with kids like themselves, Foreman's message - that children can sow seeds across adult barriers, and make a big difference - is a good and important one.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.
Find more Kids books on our
or in our book